Thursday, August 25, 2011

Truck Guns

This concept has been kicked around on internet boards and in firearms circles for some time. The concept is never really defined. As near as I can tell, the term refers to a firearm that can be kept in a vehicle for an emergency. One of the criterion of truck guns is that they are so low cost that their loss or theft won’t be a problem for the owner. So the #1 criterion for a truck guns is that “I don’t care if someone steals it”.

Of course this is unrealistic. There are no inexpensive guns any more, even the tough old Mosin Nagant rifles cost about $100 and ammo adds more cost. Other guns are much more expensive.

It ignores the problem of a stolen firearm falling into wrong hands. It also encourages confronting a situation with “less gun” that would normally be desirable.

So what is a “truck gun”? Well it should be the hand gun you concealed carry. It should be the rifle that can protect the best. It can be a plinker. Like every other firearm it should be matched to its intended use.

For my part, my car or Jeep gun is an Israeli surplus ArmaLite AR-7. Purchased about 15 years ago when a large number were imported. Their price was modest and the quality is high. I don’t think it’s a great defense gun, its not. Nor is it a great hunting rifle, but, it’s better than not gun at all.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just in Case You Missed An Important Announcement!!

The Zoot Shooters World Championship is being held September 10th &11th, 2011 at the Colorado Rifle Club, Byers Colorado. Find more info at or

Looks like a great time!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Threat of Flash Mob Violence

Flash mobs seem to be in the news almost every day. The “participants” are the usual suspects, inner city dead enders, who have forsaken education and work. These people want everything but are unwilling to work for it. These parasites are using “social media” to organize and mobilize large numbers that inundate an area and overwhelm law abiding citizens.

They loot stores, attack innocent people, and induce panic. Formerly safe areas are now danger zones. I don’t know what the ultimate solution is, but here are a few general suggestions.

1. Stay away from areas where this activity has occurred. The mobs will come back for more ‘easy pickings”.
2. Stay away from unnaturally large crowds that are assembling for no apparent reason.
3. Stay away groups that are of a different race or ethnicity than you are. Once the mob mentality or psychology takes over, anyone looking, speaking, dressed, or acting differently will be attacked. It’s how mobs operate.
4. See through the lies the medial tells. These are not “teens” out for a few pranks. There are societal rejects they are bent on taking out their rage on you. They are not innocent children. They are the ungrateful clients and recipients of the welfare state.
5. They are potential killers who may shoot, stab, or beat you to death, often for no reason, and often without any remorse. Do not think that minding your own business will protect you. Angry mobs don’t care.

How can you protect yourself and family?

1. Situational awareness of areas you frequent. Be sensitive for changes in the environment and atmosphere that may signal trouble.
2. Avoid crowded venues (shopping, sporting events, tourist areas) at night. These mobs usually use the cover of darkness to affect their escape.
3. Dress as a “gray man”. If you cannot avoid these places, look inconspicuous. An American flag t-shirt is not the thing to wear near a Cinco De Mayo celebration.
4. Seek training, proper permit, and discretely arm yourself.
5. DEMAND action on this issue from local politicians and leaders.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A guy named Joe.

If you grew up in the 1950s, 60s, or 70s you probably knew a lot of guys named Joe. Short for G.I. Joe, they fought in Europe, the Pacific, North Africa, Italy and 5 years later on the Yalu River, and the 38th parallel. We knew these guys as middle aged and senior citizens. It’s hard to see their pictures as young men in WWII or Korea and make the connection. But it’s there. They were mature well beyond their years, that generation did not have a playful carefree youth.

My father and six uncles all served in uniform during the war. Each one doing much more than their part. Heroes, in a generation of heroes.

About a decade ago, an acquaintance of mine found out about my military background, and wanted to introduce me to her father. He was a guy named Joe, literally and figuratively. Joe was a WWII B-17 Navigator, he flew all sorts of missions and returned home to become a banker. A strong powerful man in his day, his mobility was declining by the time I met him. Over the next few years we did a few things together, such as touring a B-17 at an air show. It was a great day, seeing a veteran treated as a celebrity for a short time. In the service, Joe had boxed against Joe Louis in an exhibition match. He really enjoyed meeting and boxing with Joe Louis, another great American. He’d also met Clark Gable in England where Gable was a B-17 gunner.

In his home, Joe had a 1903 Springfield hanging on the wall. He purchased it in the 1950s and fired it once in a while.
The last time Joe fired it was with his son, who tragically died sometime later. The rifle stayed on the wall for some years. I immediately recognized its importance and value. Joe showed it to me and I told him what I knew, it was a double heat treated Model 1903 Springfield rifle made in 1918, with a rare marked Model 1903A1 stock.

I later loaned Joe a book on the M1903 Springfield. He didn’t care very much about the details of the rifles but he loved the pictures of the Soldiers and West Point Cadets with the rifle in the 1930s. Joe has grown up near West Point in New York.

You know where this story is going. With his son gone, Joe gifted me the rifle a few years later. I protested, because of the rifle’s value. Of course, Joe would not hear of it, nor would his daughter. I finally convinced her to accept some money, to take her parents out or do something nice for them. Sadly, Joe is now gone, crossed over to a better place. I’m honored to give his rifle a home.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wild Bunch????

I’ve been investigating SASS Wild Bunch (WB) shooting as a possible participant. I’ll have to take a pass. I hate writing negatively, but these guys deserve it. I just reviewed the rules on SASS’s Wild bunch shooting and I just can’t do it. Too restrictive, too cliquish, too illogical. Here is some of the WB’s twisted thinking. The category was inspired by the movie “The Wild Bunch” which premiered in 1970, except it isn’’t. The category reflect the frontier period until about 1917, except it doesn’t. The category is supposed to be fun, except it isn’t.
Do these guys look like they want to follow rules????

My major problem with the Wild Bunch is the rule book. Bureaucrats that seem to be determined to take the fun out of shooting crafted this set of rules. They’ve created a traditional and modern category for pistols, as long as it is a M1911. Somehow modern 1911s and cowboy clothes just don’t fit any logic I can think of. “Well, they want more people to compete, so modern 1911s are allowed” This would make sense if they didn’t restrict rifles to over .40 caliber, patterned from 1866 to 1899. This means 38-40, 44-40, and 45 Colt lever guns only. What is the 1917 date about again????
But then, a competitor can use a Model 1897 trench gun shotgun (introduced in 1918) but not a Model 1912 (introduced in 1912) riot or trench gun (as used by actor Bo Hopkins in the movie). There is also a problem with gage. Only 12 Gage Winchester 1897s are allowed, 16 gage guns need not apply (female shooters would appreciate inclusion of the sweet 16).
The real problem is attitude. If the aim of a shooting sport is participation, broaden the rules so that other equipment can be used!! Scrap the caliber restrictions, gage restrictions, and most of all open it up to guns made until 1920 or 1925. Lugers, Mauser C-96,and other interesting pistols and revolvers from the period would add color and interest. Shoulder arms could be expanded to the Winchester Model 1907 and others. How cool would a reproduction Pedersen device for a M1903 Springfield MK I be!!!! And dare I say even a semi-auto Thompson? Look at the poster!!!

There is a SASS club in Colorado, the Sand Creek Raiders, that do this and they seem very successful. They were smart enough to throw away the SASS WB rulebook and use common sense to have fun.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Down Range TV and Radio

I’ve been very critical of some shooting TV shows in the past but I’m a big fan of Michael Bane’s Down Range TV. His shows, Shooting Gallery, Cowboys, and the newest, Gun Stories, are favorites of mine. There is other good programming for defense and survival by Michael also. He manages a very balanced approach to firearms and his programs are not infomercials as are many other firearms interest shows. I especially enjoy the Down Range Radio broadcasts via the internet. The gateway to all of this goodness is here, or Google Down Range TV.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Forgotten Smith & Wesson 624

The 44 Smith & Wesson Special should be one of the most popular revolvers in the country. It’s not. Today, it’s known mostly as the parent cartridge of the vastly more popular 44 Magnum. For years, 44 Special ammunition was loaded to feeble levels out of concern for the older revolvers chambered for the cartridge.

The revolvers are few and far between, a few Italian Colt clones, the 50th Anniversary Ruger Blackhawk, Taurus, and S&W have runs from time to time. I never see one in gun shops, new or used. Of course I suppose they can be ordered, but the 44 Special remains a rear item. One problem is ammunition availability. Usually available in well stocked gun shops or outdoor super stores, the 44 Special usually isn’t found at the local hardware store or China Mart. The more powerful and more available 44 Magnum usually attract the gun buyer looking for a large bore revolver.

In the 1980s, famed gun writer Skeeter Skelton wrote of the virtues of the 44 special and the long gone M24 revolver. This prompted S&W to bring out a version in stainless steel, the Model 624. The Ideal 44 Special revolver had arrived. Well, sort of. Initially there was a recall over the quality of steel used in the barrels. This was easily solved, but the fact that the new 624 was very close to S&Ws’ 629 44 Magnum let to a tepid reception by gun buyers. Why buy a gun nearly identical to the 629 is size and weight but is less powerful?

The answer is the 624 is a magnificent revolver. I purchased a used one in decent, but not perfect condition for a song about 8 years ago. I discovered the 624 is uncommonly accurate, powerful with the improved loads available today, and pleasant to shoot. Recoil and blast are manageable and encourage good shooting.

My 624 rides in an old Bianchi X-15 shoulder holster or a belt holster. It is a constant companion in the woods and in the outdoors. Inside, it’s a home defense gun. It may be forgotten, and underappreciated, but I find it invaluable.